October family fun

Thinking of things to do as the October Half Term looms ever closer? Look no further than the Wales Coast Path for guidance.

Heading to the coast offers an ideal location for family fun, with a huge range of activities and amusements within easy reach. From castles to nature trails, to dolphin-watching boat trips, the Wales Coast Path has it all. Thrill seekers can choose from a whole host of funfairs and adventure centres but the natural splendour of the path also offers family friendly walks.

We’ve come up with a hit-list of hints for how to entertain the little ones, no matter where you are in Wales.

North Wales Coast & Dee Estuary

You could try the traditional delights of on Llandudno’s family-friendly Pier; jump on the tramways and cable cars of the nearby Great Orme; or check out animals such as lemurs, meerkats and tigers at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay. It is holding a Shriek Week, from October 27 to November 12, with free admission to each child who is dressed as a spooky character and accompanied by an adult. You could also pop along to the Harlequin Puppet Theatre in Rhos-on-Sea, who are performing the well-loved fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel for Half Term, or take a trip to Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site. 

Isle of Anglesey

The National Trust-run Plas Newydd Country House and Gardens, in Llanfairpwll, has a programme of family friendly events. Its Half Term programme, from 24 to 31 October includes nature explorers’ days, family nature walks and a spooky Halloween house. Over in Holyhead, Breakwater Country Park offers an orienteering as well as a nature trail.

Menai, Llŷn & Meirionnydd

The picturesque Mediterranean-style village of Portmeirion near Minffordd, in Gwynedd, was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. In the 1960s it was the setting for the cult television show The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan.

Ceredigion

Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth is holding free drop-in workshops on October 27, at the end of its Big Draw exhibition; the results of a national competition to encourage everyone to draw. Artist Kim James Williams will be on hand to give useful hints and tips to budding artists of all ages.

Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority offers a year-round family friendly activity programme. Why not try a wild woodland adventure at Colby? Watch out for woodland wildlife such as the resident herons preparing for winter in these ranger-led family activities in partnership with The National Trust. The day consists of hour long outdoor sessions together with indoor craft activities and hands on science and is something for all the family. Come dressed for the outdoors and book in advance.

Carmarthenshire

Families can take two wheels to cycle or walk around the wetlands centre near Llanelli. Try and spot some of the hundreds of bird species which are resident or visit here throughout the year – or take a trip past the water vole city. The centre is holding a spooky nature night on October 28, full of activities which include bat detecting, torch-lit pond exploration, frightening fairies and craft activities such as making bats, lanterns and spiders' web dream catchers. The evening will finish with a hot chocolate and treats, with prizes for the best costume. 

Gower & Swansea Bay

Join in some high-energy fun at the LC; Swansea’s exciting leisure centre and water park. You could also get high-tech and hands-on at the National Waterfront Museum or perhaps squeeze in a visit to Plantasia, an exotic indoor tropical haven which features insects, reptiles, fish and monkeys, and an exciting events programme.

South Wales Coast & Severn Estuary

Coney Beach Funfair offers fun for the family at Porthcawl, however if it is nature you’re looking for try the wildlife walks at Kenfig National Nature Reserve (NNR). Techniquest science centre in Cardiff Bay has more than 130 interactive exhibits for ages ranging from 8 to 80. Try some Spooky Science there during half term week, as the scary side of science is explored, covering topics such as why we use science to create potions and ghosts. Get active outdoors on the Cardiff Bay Barrage, where visitors can make free use of the 1,100 sq metre skate plaza. Visitors to Chepstow Castle can step back in time to the Middle Ages, as they witness mediaeval re-enactments in period costumes. There are also tours of the historic building and demonstrations by the Black Rock Lave Net Fishermen, who use traditional Welsh methods of catching salmon in the Severn Estuary.